It’s hard not to wonder about how sales are affected by negative controversy surrounding a given topic. In the case of the newly-released Pokémons Sword & Shield, whose sales numbers were revealed in a Gematsu article, probably not that much.
The official number is 6 million: that’s the number of games sold in just its first week, worldwide. All that despite the Dexit controversy, when a sizable number of fans criticized Game Freak’s decision to cut the full pokédex by more than half, citing their dedication in producing “high quality animations.” It only goes to show that even negative press is good press. People may have been more curious to play the games to pick a side.
As also stated in the Gematsu article, Sword & Shield‘s stellar opening week sales gives it the record for biggest release for a Switch title. That tops other first-party titles such as Super Mario Odyssey, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Considering the historical marketability of Pokémon and the substantial success of the Switch console, these sales figures shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Even so, with the heavier awareness on game quality from players, Sword & Shield may have had a firm hurdle to cross. These sale numbers show that the controversy was, to swipe the low-hanging fruit, not very effective.
Pokémons Sword & Shield are available now on the Nintendo Switch.